Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich will still have the financial power to buy the likes of Philippe Coutinho following the coronavirus crisis, claims Spanish football expert Graham Hunter. Coutinho has been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge after failing to settle at Barcelona since his £142million transfer from Liverpool in January 2018. The Brazil international is spending this season on loan at Bayern Munich but a permanent deal appears unlikely.
Hunter does not think Chelsea will be restricted in the transfer market as much as some clubs will be.
He says Abramovich could change his recent transfer strategy of signing younger players by splashing out on the likes of 27-year-old Coutinho.
Though he admits that looks unlikely at the moment.
“There are some clubs who aren’t automatically going to be affected by this crisis,” Hunter said on the Transfer Window podcast.
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“Clubs, for example Chelsea have utterly redrawn how they want to spend.
“But there’s no doubt Abramovich still has the power to wake up one morning and go ‘Nah, I’m interested again, there’s £150m’.
“I don’t think he will, Chelsea aren’t run like that at the moment.
“But he has that power and Manchester City have almost unending financial power, so do Paris Saint-Germain.”
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Meanwhile, former Chelsea defender Frank Leboeuf does not think Coutinho would be a worthwhile signing.
Leboeuf thinks Barcelona paid way over the odds for him two-and-a-half years ago.
“Well, to be really honest, and frank, no [Chelsea should not sign him],” Leboeuf told ESPN FC.
“I think Coutinho is a good player and I’m not even trying to be harsh on him, I think I want to find Barcelona guilty for the situation because they put a price on Coutinho who I think doesn’t belong to that league.
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“Now it’s hard to reverse the system, it’s hard to think that you can even the price and accept to lose like £65m for a transfer.
“But if you check on the quality of Coutinho, of course he is a talented player, of course he is a good player, but does he belong to the top, top players? Allow me to have some doubts about that.
“When I see Neymar, when I see [Cristiano] Ronaldo, when I see [Lionel] Messi, when I see [Kylian] Mbappe, I see top, top players.
“Coutinho has a price of a top, top player and I don’t want to make a statement but I’m not sure he has the quality of a top, top player.”
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